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It Must Be The Neighbors

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It Must Be The Neighbors

Published 1966

Bill Duncan gets a Health Department citation for having a rusted-out garbage can. He talks to his buddy at the Health Department and learns that his neighborhood is filled with rats, disease carrying mosquitoes and neighbors who are eager to blame these problems on each other. These were common problems in suburbs where the health departments didn't always have the resources to intervene.

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Production Company US Public Health Service
Audio/Visual sound, color


Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - January 7, 2006
Subject: Oh the shame! A tag on your garbage can!
It must be the neighbors is a nice enough to look at (I mean, look at the cars!) tale warning people about leaving litter not because your house will burn down faster when the Atom Bomb hits (well, that too) but because its a breeding ground for mosquitos, rats and other vermin! This is more of a community cares film aka Lets all help us together! which sort of drives me up the wall. After the whole Look where mosquitos breed! lecture that sort of turned my stomach, the whole Up With People attitude sort of turned it even more.

Final question.. Do they still tag garbage cans?
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - May 9, 2005
Subject: Sure We're Slobs, but It's the Neighbors' Fault
When Bill Duncan gets a Health Department citation for not replacing his rusted-out garbage can, he calls up an old college buddy at the department to see if he can get out of it. The college buddy takes this opportunity to tour BillÂs yard and point out such sanitation horrors as containers of standing water, which he is sure are already breeding grounds for the mosquitoes that spread yellow fever. Bill blames it all on the neighbors, as do all the neighbors. But since the health department guy has a mesmerizing, Pied-Piper-like effect on the neighborhood kids, they all spearhead a neighborhood cleanup campaign which their parents eventually reluctantly accept. The premise of this film is just as ludicrous as it sounds, and the level of acting talent supports this ludicrousness. That, and its rather dark portrayal of 60s suburbia, make this a fun film to watch.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Reviewer: martini66 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - March 30, 2005
Guy wigs out when he gets a summons because his trash can has rotted out. Well boo hoo .
Lots of finger pointing and hostility in
white trash neighborhood where, apparently it's OK to throw your old washing machine, tires and various other debris in the lot next door.
Includes rats, mosquitos, yellow fever, dengue, cockroaches, larvae, you know, all the things that are just lying around everyone's suburban home. Kids finally band together and clean up all the garbage their degenerate parents neglected to do in the first place.
Reviewer: dynayellow - favoritefavoritefavorite - November 4, 2004
Subject: No, the typhoid is coming from YOUR yard!
How refreshing: the 'burbs are usually portrayed as spic-and-span, but in this short, they're a haven for rats, roaches, and deadly mosquitos.

Nobody in the neighborhood believes the local health inspector when he tells them they should clean up their yard to prevent infestation, nobody except a cadre of young boys who know just where to go to club a rat to death. Yikes.

Eventually, the boys form a "club" or "posse" or "militia group" dedicated to cleaning things up. Then, everyone joins in because the rats are getting big enough to ride to work.

Acting's a little dull, and the film has that awful 70's brown veneer to it.
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